Thursday, August 13, 2015

Another sign of a booming economy: Food banks getting crushed by demand

The "economic recovery" in the USA has been going on since June of 2009, officially. Unofficially, (meaning, in the real world), there has been no recovery. The economy hit bottom, and then proceeded to slowly grow from that new, lower base case. But it has not grown fast enough, in terms of jobs or in terms of pay, to get the economy back to where it was.

For those that would cite employment numbers, such as the unemployment rate being low, well, you're a chump. I'm tempted to follow Tiny's advice* ("How many times I gotta say it? There's no percentage in smartenin' up a chump."), but I will just point out that the participation percentage cratering has been the real reason for the drop. If the participation percentage was where it had been, the UE-3 rate would be over nine percent, and maybe over ten percent. (I haven't checked the particulars in a while - it's too depressing, even for a cat.) And that is the REAL level of unemployment we've had for years now.**

One sign that the economy still stinks is that "Food Stamp" usage has ballooned under Obama, and has shown few signs of decreasing. (Usage has dropped since late 2013. However, as even the Huffington Post pointed out, that has largely been due to the government tightening eligibility rules.) Similarly, food banks are getting crushed. In fact, they're having to ration out what they give to families now, because of demand.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Food banks across the country are seeing a rising demand for free groceries despite the growing economy, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family.

U.S. food banks are expected to give away about 4 billion pounds of food this year, more than double the amount provided a decade ago, according to Feeding America, the nation's primary food bank network. The group gave away 3.8 billion in 2013.
While reliance on food banks exploded when the economy tanked in 2008, groups said demand continues to rise year after year, leaving them scrambling to find more food.
"We get lines of people every day, starting at 6:30 in the morning," said Sheila Moore, who oversees food distribution at The Storehouse, the largest pantry in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and one where food distribution has climbed 15 percent in the past year.
Going from 3.8 billion pounds of food to 4 billion pounds of food is a growth rate of over 5%. Too bad the economy can't grow that fast. A depressing article, but I recommend you read all of it.

* From the movie The Set-up (1949).

** Which also ignores the rise of temp work & part-time work at the expense of full-time work. The employment situation is even worse than it appears.


  1. Ah but we now have "Social Justice"! Oh wait Thugs are exalted ,Police are demonized, Men are Women, and dogs and cats have sex. OK, we are fucked.